Thursday, January 31, 2013

2012 was good start to big hits V

Wildcat11 has been working on the digital copy of the 2012 highlight video (for phones/tablets/CPU) and 2012 was a very productive year in terms of source material for Big Hits V. That's a few years down the road so you might as well check out Big Hits IV in the meantime. Linfield flat gets after it every game.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Linfield's Fisher and Skore are headed to Schwäbisch Hall.

Taylor Skore (Top) and Drew Fisher (Below) left their mark on Linfield Football history.
Photos Courtesy of Brad Thompson: Purchase Brad's photos here.

The Linfield connection to the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns will continue during the 2013 season as two former Wildcat standouts have signed on to help the back-to-back defending German Football League champions, as the Unicorns try to make it three in a row in 2013.

2012 Linfield College graduates Drew Fisher and Taylor Skore wrapped up their senior seasons as Wildcat players in the fall of 2011 as part of what many regarded as one of the best defensive backfields in program history. Fisher was twice named a Division III All-American and 2011 Northwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year for his weekly playmaking highlighted by bone jarring hits and Taylor Skore was a 3x All-Northwest Conference selection (twice 1st team) at cornerback. Skore was widely considered one of the top athletes in the NWC during his 4 years in the ‘Catdome.

The connection to the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns dates back to 2011 when Linfield all-american quarterback, Aaron Boehme (now the QB coach at Linfield), and all-region defensive tackle Paul Nishizaki, signed on to play in the GFL. The infusion of Boehme and Nish into the Unicorn line-up was the last ingredients needed in the Unicorn’s championship recipe. In 2011, Schwäbisch Hall compiled a 13-0 season and captured the franchise’s 1st German Football League championship (founded in 1983) in a thrilling 48-44 German Bowl victory over the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes.

Boehme hung up the cleats in 2012 to start his coaching career but Nishizaki headed back to Germany once again. With Nish anchoring the middle of the Unicorns defense, Schwäbisch Hall knocked out a 12-2 record and once again won the GFL championship in knocking off Keil Baltic in a rematch of the 2011 German Bowl.

Former Linfield Defensive Tackle, Paul Nishizaki, celebrates his 2012 GFL Championship.
With Nishizaki coming back home for good, the Unicorns looked once again to Linfield to help fill their American allocation in the signing of Drew Fisher. Once Fisher was inked the Unicorn staff was still looking to shore up their defensive backfield and that’s when Fish turned Schwäbisch Hall onto Skore. Next thing you know, Linfield will once again have two former players having a wild experience playing the game they love in Schwäbisch Hall.

Below are some thoughts from both of these standout former 'Cats on their upcoming adventure overseas.

Going to Germany this up and coming season is an extremely exciting opportunity that in all reality wouldn't be an option for Taylor and I if Nish and Boehme hadn't represented Linfield so well already. Those guys went over and played a major role into capturing back to back German Bowl championships which really reassured Coach Gehrke of the Unicorns to have confidence in future Wildcats playing for him. First and foremost, I am looking forward to playing some more football. I'll always have a passion for the game and couldn't be more thrilled to hit someone across the middle again. I'm excited to be a part of the Unicorns and compete against teams from all over Europe. It could not have worked out better to have a fellow DB that I've played with and became great friends with come over and join the Unicorns as well. We are both eager to share our experiences both on and off the field with friends, family, and Wildcats everywhere. The only thing we can do is give it all we have over there to represent Linfield well so that future players can have the same opportunity as us.

-Drew Fisher

The opportunity to go over to Germany and play football is something that doesn't come around too often and is something that I couldn't pass up. Like Drew said, if not for Boehme and Nish having played for the Unicorns at a high level while representing Linfield football the right way, I would not be traveling overseas in the next couple months. Likewise, Drew played a huge role in my signing with the team by letting coach Gerhke know about me and my ability as a player. I am looking forward to continuing to play the sport I love and have missed greatly over this past year. I can't wait to share the field with Fish again (hopefully without any friendly fires) and represent Linfield and our coaches, especially Fendall and Haze, the way that we know how. Having Drew on the team makes this trip that much better and I know we will share many great experiences living and playing in completely different culture. I am blessed to have the amazing support from my friends and family to continue my football career and I know Drew and I will both play our hearts out and hopefully get back to the German Bowl for a third consecutive year.

-Taylor Skore

Drew Fisher Linfield Highlights

Taylor Skore Linfield Highlights

Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns Facebook Page

Monday, January 28, 2013

2012 highlight video debut was a hit!

The 2012 Highlight was a hit.

It was a late showing for the debut of the 2012 Linfield Wildcat football highlight video but the wait was worth it.  I thought the video turned out great and the 1 hour and 18 minutes moved along at a great clip.  What I told the team before the video is the truth;  they're 99% of the reason why this video is exciting and fun.  It's because of the energy and passion of this team that put up 40 points per game, sacking quarterbacks 63 times, piling up over 124 tackles for losses, and blowing up team after team on their march to the playoffs.  Without their performance, all the editing in the world wouldn't make this video as exciting as it can be.  They get the credit, I just point the camera at 'em.

With the debut in the books, the next step is getting this in the player's hands in various media platforms.  I shooting by mid-Feburary to have the video available in the following platforms:

-Blu Ray (I can't recommend this enough)
-Standard Def DVD
-Digital downloads for Smartphones (Iphone, Andriod, etc) and Tablets

For those that want to wait, we'll start rolling out game clips starting the 1st Monday of March.  I'll need to send out a formal post for the countless thank you's in helping putting this production together and will try to get to that soon enough.  Till then...Go 'Cats!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

2012 Linfield College Football: "Fear None"

Want to know what it's like to play for the Linfield Wildcats and in the 'Catdome? This sums it up. 'Catdome all day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2012 Highlight Video Debut is tonight!

Time to get this fired up.
Tonight is the night when we finally get to debut the 2012 Linfield Wildcat football highlight video.  It's been done for weeks now but we had to find the right time to get this in front of the team.  9:30 tonight in ICE auditorium in Melrose hall we're going to roll this monster of a highlight video out to the team.  The highlight spans 1 hour and 18 minutes of packed action (when you average 40 points a game and sack QB's over 60 times there's a lot of ground to cover) and it moves quickly from game to game. 

We're also going to give the team a treat at the end and show the 2012 Linfield Football Video Trailer that is going to be posted up on YouTube tomorrow.  Last year our "Send 'Em Up" trailer was wildly popular and Wildcat11 did his best to reach that level with the 2012 edition.  Be ready to click back tomorrow to get your eyes on that.  Go 'Cats!

Monday, January 21, 2013

2012 Linfield Senior Class says "Thank You"

The 2012 Linfield seniors have experienced one of the great runs of Linfield Wildcat football. Over the past four seasons this group has accumulated a 42-5 overall record. Winning 4 Northwest Conference titles and doing it in perfect fashion at 24-0. During the regular season, this group of Wildcats only tasted defeat once over four year (35-1 regular season record from 2009-2012) and compiled a 7-4 playoff record in advancing to the elite eight and a trip to the final four. During their entire career at Linfield, their teams have never been out of the Division III top ten rankings in finishing #3, #8, #6, and #5 in the country and have defeated sixteen top 25 teams along the way.

All these Linfield seniors have done is win and then win some more. It hasn’t been because they slipped on a Linfield jersey and everyone started to fall on their face in front of the 'Cats. They’ve won because of the sheer amount of work and effort they’ve put into Linfield football. A number of these seniors had to put aside their personal wants for the greater good of Linfield football and the result has been a shining example of what it takes to not only make it as a football team but what it takes to make it in life. As a fan, I’m so proud of what these players have accomplished during their time in the ‘Catdome. All of these young men have big things in front of them and I look forward to see what happens.

But now is the time of them to say thank you to those that have helped them to this point of their lives. ‘Catdome!

#2 Lucas Jepson, Receiver

For two years it’s been a tremendous ride to this point. Thank you to my family, my parents have been my biggest fans & have shown me how to be strong through any situation. The saying, “tough times don’t last, tough people do.” That’s my parents, “we’re Jepson’s we always find a way.” My pop is my number one coach; he put in countless hours helping me on the field/court but what he taught me off of it is irreplaceable. My mother sitting through games rain or shine; showing me how to treat people & being there to pick me up when times got rough; the concept of not giving up no matter what. My brother has trained me since high school & is the reason I was able to do the things I did on the field. The countless hours in the weight room or doing speed work, rain or shine, he never stopped. That is why I always say my brother and I are going to make it together and it’s the truth. Our relationship has grown over the years and it’s because we share the bond of doing something we love to do. I love you guys and hopefully I made you proud over the years. But remember I AIN'T DONE YET! So get ready, we still got a long ride to go.

Thank you to all my coaches – ya'll been an instrumental part of me as a person & player. Coach Casey is the sole reason I am here at Linfield, believing in me as a player and person. He wrote a letter of rec that propelled admissions to give me a shot. He set an example & preached values that will last a lifetime. Coach T for the experience of Cabrillo College where I learned a lot about myself as a person & player. Coach Volk for his competitive fire and instilling the concept of looking at things from a different view. Even Coach Mewhinney, we had constant battles as QB and OC, but that’s because we are so much alike; we’re both stubborn, competitive and want to win. I learned a lot about the game and how to read defenses which helped my game at receiver easier.

Thank you to the Linfield coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play like I was 8 years old again. You guys are the hardest working coaching staff in the country. Always putting us in a position to win & had a continual effort in instilling the Linfield L in all of us; it’s something I will never forget; those things are the foundation of what will propel all of us in being successful once we leave this place. Coach Haze - jump suit in every color! Don’t worry I’ll be fitted!

All the trainers - Appreciate all of you. Thank you for keeping me healthy; especially the ones here; Countless ankle taping to ice baths.

Thank you to Ryan Carlson for all the work you do. Your skills in the lab are amazing. Keep doin' ya thing!

I’m thankful for all the good or bad along the way; it has made me appreciate things more and view things in a different light. It’s shaped me and been a stepping stone in my faith growing every day. Faith is a big reason why I am here; God blessed me with a lot of things. Hope, Faith, Love, and Belief in everything I do, especially love, because without love you ain't got nothing.

As always, I thank my grandfather believing in me during the journey. Hopefully, I have made him proud and done things the right way. You’re the reason I tap my shoes and kiss towards the sky after every score. You’re a big part of my life and always will be. Not a day goes by that I don’t have a conversation with you. I learned don’t take anything for granted, seize opportunity, and always work hard. It’s what Jepson’s do! I know you here with all of us; Dreams, Promises, and one day. It’s what drives me; we doing it together. Love you Papa Lou.

Thanks to my best friend Megan Wallo; only person who truly knows all I’ve been through to get here. Known her since I was five & I couldn’t have done this without her. Thanks for keepin' me in line, keepin' my head straight, & keepin' things in perspective. You headed for big things this year. Best center fielder in the country! Ya'll better tune in! Meg we just gettin' started. We prolly are going to end up in the home together. Love ya.

All the guys I’ve played with I love ya'll; Aloha Warriors we ball out. The Cabrillo family, absolutely a pleasure; all the coaches and guys - two years well spent. Guys at Linfield, I love ya'll. Dre (aka GQ) you're my boy for life! I better be invited to the wedding! Charlie, you're a lil brother & now officially are Mr. Big Time! Mickey you’ll always be Big Ben. Drew Wert, stay BIG! Bobby Nix, I’m still tryin' to get on your level! Reid - Pinky’s up!

Tyler Steele (White Thunder - always call you an ALL AMERICAN IN PUBLIC) & Josh Hill (Dark Knight), push this team to the next level & win a natty. The cards are set up next year for ya'll so go do it. Don’t let anything get in the way. Fully commit & get each guy to follow. No early exits in 2013. Set the tone in January & carry it through all year; 4 pillars - live those things fully the whole year. Respect All, Fear None isn’t a one year thing; it’s a lifestyle so live it.

Ya'll always have a place with me. No matter what the situation, you need anything, you let the old man know.


Lucas Jepson aka Gpop…..401k……I’m out like shout!

#3 Maika Kunioka, Kicker

First I'd like to thank my parents for being the number one supporters in my life. Through everything I've done and all the decisions I've made, they've always supported me no matter what. They're the reason I'm where I am today, introducing me to sports and allowing me to continue playing club sports my entire life. Though bigger than that, just raising me to be the guy I am today is what I'm most thankful for.

Second I'd like to thank the rest of my family, all my grandparents, my sister, all my uncles, aunties, and cousins for always supporting me and coming to watch all my games no matter how far they were.

I'd also like to thank all the coaches I've had in my life for helping me to become the person I am today and guiding me to a successful athletic career. Coach Haze, thank you for always being honest with me and for never giving up on me. You've definitely taught me a lot these past four years and it is something I'll never forget.

As my career in sports comes to an end, I can gladly say it has been a very successful one. Not because of all the accomplishments I've achieved but because of all the great friends and brothers I've made along the way. The people I've met have been a positive impact on my life and they're the people I'll always remember. Especially all my brothers who I've played with in the 'Catdome. It's definitely been a pleasure and an honor to be able to play next to each one of you guys.

I'm definitely going to miss suiting up every Saturday and the atmosphere in the 'Catdome. Keep the tradition going but always remember the four pillars, T.E.A.C!

-Maika Kunioka

#6 Hoku Kama, Safety

I just want to thank my family, giving me the opportunity to play this wonderful game of football. I also want to thank my coaches and teammates of being apart of my family, supporting and helping me through several adversities. I'm going to miss each and every one of you guys, knowing that I will cherish every moments being with you guys. I am looking forward to make more memorable moments with you guys in the future. I will always and forever be a Wildcat!

Go 'Cats!

#7 Josh Kay, Kicker

It's a shame I never had the opportunity to watch any Linfield ball growing up. I grew up over in Salem with the belief that somewhere over the hill in rural McMinnville there existed a mythical-like football powerhouse. While Linfield dominance is still all the norm, my perspective on WHO & WHAT this team is has changed dramatically. I began my career with the idea I was never going to lose, after all I played for Linfield right? I had just transferred, jumped ship if you will, and we were down at Cal Lu for my first game ever as a 'Cat.

We lost that game... and I couldn't believe it (that loss fueled that team to an undefeated regular season and a trip back to the playoffs). I thought, "Wait, I go to Linfield College now, we don't lose games." I learned that rookie year that you're entitled to nothing in life and especially football, and you've gotta work if you want to achieve. When I came in I knew I had the talent, but it took me an entire year to realize I was so caught up in myself that the only thing keeping me off of the field was my MIND. Everyone in this program has work ethic, you wouldn't be here if you didn't have it... so given you're working as hard as you can, but are you working as smart as you can? Thankfully, I was surrounded by inspiring coaches and solid teammates who reminded me of how much of a PRIVILEGE it is to play for Linfield. I took a lot for granted that year, and it literally makes me upset looking back on it now as a much more mature man. I believe had it not been for my struggle, I wouldn't have succeeded in the way I did, so for each of you who is reading this and thinking your going through some unique struggle, don't worry, most everyone has been in your shoes at one point or another... except Haze he's been balling since the cradle. There's a certain level of commitment that is expected of everyone in this program, and I rose to the occasion as an individual, but I did it with the help and encouragement of everyone around me. That's what is special about this program fellas, and it may sound cliche but real talk we're a FAMILY. I was so caught up in trying to be a stud out there I lost sight of the real reason I was out there... which was to ball with my boys, in Linfield fashion of course!

I know this is supposed to be a heart felt thank you and goodbye (it kind of is) but I feel that it's important for the squad to hear this... and especially you young guys... and even more so the transfers and freshman we have coming in who read this blog. Don't take this experience for granted. Don't let a day go by where you have any sort of regret about your time spent; because time is all we have. I'm talking about each and every rep (on the field) and what you're doin' when no one is looking (off the field). Ray Ray has his 5 P's, "Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance," and we've got our pillars. Team Excellence Attitude Class. It's no joke guys. Our famed win streak is a testament to how we have conducted ourselves as a program for over half a century. It's been an honor to compete alongside you these past three years. I've got mad love for you all, and it truly has been an honor. Don't be a stranger, I will surely not be one. If you ever need anyone to talk with, don't hesitate to get ahold of me. My ears and heart are open to all Linfield Ballers. One Love.

#11 Brian Dundas, Linebacker

I want to first thank my mom for everything she has done for me. She has been my #1 fan, supporter, and my hero. She has made my dreams possible. Though she never wanted me to play football when I was a kid, she finally gave in and has supported me 100% my entire career. The things she and I have been through together have only brought us closer together. Ultimately, my mom is the reason I decided to transfer back to Linfield after playing at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz. Leaving the northwest took away the opportunity for my mom to watch me play. Coming back to Linfield I knew she would be there for me every weekend, and I would have an opportunity to make her proud athletically and academically. My mom is my rock.

I also need to thank the friends and family that have supported me throughout my life. My friends and family along with my mom helped me make it through the toughest of time and have always encouraged me to chase my dreams. I have truly been blessed with amazing people throughout my life.

I want to thank all of my coaches prior to Linfield that have helped me develop as a football player and as a man. My high school coach, Doug Trainor, pushed me to work hard and believe in myself. He believed in me when few others did. Coach Hansen from Cabrillo College really helped me develop physically, but most importantly, mentally in football and in life.

Finally, thank you to the entire Linfield family. From the players I met during my first journey to Linfield in 2007 to all of the current teammates and seniors. The second time around here at Linfield I was really surprised by the true family and all of the love throughout the program. Having a different route to Linfield I didn't quite know if I would feel like a part of the family, but sure enough when it was all said and done it was undeniable. I need to thank the Linfield coaching staff for all that being a Linfield coach entails. The hours and hours of hard work they put in to put us in position to win championships is astonishing. I've learned a lot about the game of football, being a leader, and life in general.

Thank you 'Cats!


#11 Mickey Inns, Quarterback

First of all, and most importantly, I want to thank my parents, Mike and Melanie. They have supported my athletic career since the beginning, taught me values that have shaped me as a man and made me a successful athlete, while allowing me the opportunities to pursue my goals and dreams. I will most likely never be able to repay them for all they have done for me but I am so grateful to have them as my parents.

Next I would like to thank my coaches, especially the offensive coaches who I spent most of my time with and enabled me to be successful. Although he has moved on, I want to thank Coach Elliott for all he has done for me. He molded me into the quarterback I was and much of my success is due to his coaching. I would also like to thank Coach Boehme. The final year we had together as Cats’ will be one that I will always remember. He has been a great role model as a player as well as a coach, teaching me just as much while he was playing in front of me as he did as my coach.

Finally I have to thank all the players and Wildcat supporters that I have had the opportunity share this experience with in my four years. It has truly been an honor to play for this school and I have made many relationships that will last forever. Choosing to play for Linfield was the best decision I have ever made. There are so many people that make this place what it is and I am going to miss it greatly.

- Mickey Inns

#13 Erik Knapp, Rover

First off, I want to thank my family. They have supported me through everything, and I would never have gotten here without them. My parents have come to all of my games since kindergarten, and I can't begin to explain how much they mean to me. Going to Linfield has been an incredible experience, and I can't thank them enough for all they've done to help me along the way.

I am immensely thankful for our coaching staff. Coach Haze has done an exceptional job with the DBs, and I'm excited to see what the group does in the future. Practice and meetings can sometimes drag on, but with Haze's leadership, sense of humor, and love of the game, we stayed focused and had a great time doing it. The DB group as a whole took a lot of pride in constantly getting better and being more prepared than anyone we played, all while never forgetting to enjoy the game of football.

I cannot possibly thank my teammates enough. Out of all the success we have had, all the games and preparation, the thing I will always remember the most is the time spent with my teammates. Playing football at Linfield is tough, but when you are surrounded by some of the hardest-working, most supportive and funniest guys you'll ever meet, you can't help but cherish every minute. I can honestly say that I've had the time of my life playing football at Linfield. I met some of my best friends on the team, and it's a great feeling to get to play the best sport in the world alongside so many guys you care about.

To the seniors, you guys are awesome. Our senior class is certainly a lot smaller than it was when we first got here, but those of us that stuck it out got to be a part of something special. This team accomplished some great things, and we were right there leading the charge. To my fellow senior DBs, Hoku and Pietrzyk, it's been a pleasure playing with you guys. All those countless hours of preparation were a ton of fun with you guys there, and I'm proud of how far we've come.

My time at Linfield was unforgettable. Going through the highs and lows with this group of guys has taught me so many important lessons, and I am definitely a better person because of this team. I will always be proud to be a Wildcat.

Erik Knapp

#17 Aaron Hire, Receiver

Feelings of bitterness, frustration and shame took hold of me in my first few years at Linfield when told that I would have to wait to play. Being out of the mix, I wondered how I could possibly live up to the expectations of my last name at this school. In the midst of transferring and changing positions I felt purposeless and hopeless.

It is in these humbling events where I found the meaning of Linfield football again— meaning that I first felt in past Linfield seasons & the ‘00—‘05 seasons, which I witnessed as a child. It is in this change, that I would like to thank Coach Nagel, possibly the only person besides my father to have the utmost faith in me. I’m not sure I would have stayed at Linfield if it weren’t for your support.

Looking back, I’m glad my role was not one to put up big numbers, or have to have my name in the papers. I found out that finding a role—and being a full man—more often than not means that you put in countless hours for little reward. It means that you serve, dedicate and lay down your body for others. When all your effort is toward a single cause, and the reward of said cause is a few moments, those moments become monumental and last a lifetime. I will cherish my few moments for all time, and remember being part of a legacy.

A past player by the name of Paul Nishizaki, was one of the best nose tackles to come out of Linfield, but never once mistreated or bad-mouthed a scout team player. I took inspiration from him, Maika Kunioka, & so many others, and like them, I hope I embodied a rare tradition of always thinking of others first. People who know me know that I will go to whatever end for them. I want the young guys to realize that finding a role and humbling yourself may be the most beautiful & rewarding part about Linfield football, and the game of football in general. For this, there are so many to thank. In the end, it’s about the people you were with—and I am so thankful to have played this game with so many people I love.

Thank you seniors, especially Mickey, Deidre, Jepson, Kaston, Kama & Maika. Thank you past players for your example, especially the 2011 team. Thank you coaching staff for the foundations of excellence. Mahalo to Carlson, Mack & water specialists for your dedication and efforts. Thank you Jah Almighty for the health to play. And lastly thank you to my family.

Fa'afetai lava, with Aloha,

-Hire Jr.

#37 Stephen Nasca, Running Back

Wow. What a crazy past 4 years it’s been here at Linfield. To be playing from second grade until now has been such a blessing. While football has taught me many things on the field, this program has truly shown me what I needed to do in order to better myself as a man. To play in this program has easily been the highlight of my football career. I had my ups and downs along the way but with these trials and times of success I have a better athlete and person. Though these past 4 years have been awesome I could not have done it without those who supported me through it all.

To my parents and family, no words can justify the amount of respect I have for all of you and the amount of love I have for all of you. You were there through the thick and thin and always knew the way to keep me pushing forward. Without you, I would truly be nowhere. The fact that you made it to almost every game is remarkable and I appreciated every Saturday knowing that I would get to see you guys and that you came to see me be a part of this team. You guys were my rock through it all and I couldn’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done.

To my Linfield family, what a ride it’s been. To say it is over now would be a lie. You guys are just like family and in these past 4 years I have developed relationships that will last a lifetime. To the coaches, you guys were such amazing role models. You taught me so much about the game and so much about life. The reason I came to Linfield was because of the culture and the beliefs you had as coaches. You have taught us to be better men and gave us the opportunities to be successful on and off the field. You truly gave us the opportunity to see our hard work come into fruition during these past years. Thank you for the lessons you have taught as. Also to Mac daddy Farag, thank you for always believing in me and helping me with all that I needed. You truly are an incredible person. To my teammates, you guys are my brothers. I wouldn’t have wanted to play on any other team in the nation these past 4 years because of you. As Coach Smith would say, you guys are a cut above the rest. Battling with you has been so memorable and something I will take with me for the rest of my life. To four amazing years.

Best to all you guys,
“Fast like a Nascar” Nasca

#38 Nick Pietrzyk, Rover

Transferring to Linfield for the last two years of my football career was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was great being surrounded by such a fantastic group of players and coaches. First and foremost, I would like to thank parents for all of the love, care, and support they have given me throughout my life. None of the achievements or opportunities I have had in my life to date would have been possible without them.

I want to thank Coach Hazenberg for initially helping me though all the steps to give me an opportunity to play for this wonderful program despite my late arrival. I also want to give a special shout out to the Rompus Room for making my arrival that much easier with a warm welcome.

Unfortunately, I was only able to play two years of football here at Linfield, but it was worth every second. I want to thank all the coaches for all of the time, energy, and effort they put into the program and the players. The work ethic and drive by everybody involved with Linfield football is contagious and I am very fortunate to have been a part of it. I am very proud to be part of the Linfield football family.

Nick P.

#69 Kaston Gleason, Offensive Tackle

First and foremost, I would like to thank my parents for supporting me throughout my football career, coming all the way up from Hawaii at least once a season to catch a game or two, and making it possible for me to come to Linfield in the first place.

I would like to thank the coaches, especially Coach Hire and Kyle, for being patient, and developing me as a player and as a person. This coaching staff was truly the best and hardest working that I have played for.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of the boys, from those who were seniors when I was a freshman, to those who are freshman now that I'm a senior. It was an honor, a privilege, and a pleasure getting to know and play with each and every one of you. Thanks for the memories.

To all of my fellow seniors, it has been one hell of a ride and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Here's to staying lifelong friends.


#77 Eddie Fennimore, Offensive Tackle

I would like to thank my parents first and foremost. Without all of their help and support I would not have had the 13 year football career that I did. I would not be the man I am today without them either. My drive, determination, strength, and inspiration all comes from them and I can't thank them enough.

Secondly, I would like to thank the amazing coaching staff at Linfield for a great four years. They are all very enthusiastic and really enjoy what they do. I think this translates directly to the football field and our success.

I have to thank my teammates as well. They are now some of my best friends and I wouldn't trade them for any other group of guys.

Also, got to give a shout-out to all the awesome fans that came and watched all of our games no matter the weather. It got cold during all of our playoff runs, but our dedicated fans stayed strong.

Eddie Fennimore #77

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Three years in and it keeps getting better for these 'Cats.

Upon the completion of the 2010 season I thought it would be interesting to follow the path of a group of freshman during their careers as Linfield Wildcats and what the transition was like from High School to the 'Catdome.  After their 2nd year as Wildcats, we again talked to this great group of young people about getting deeper into the 'Catdome.  It's little strange to be back again as these players will be entering their senior seasons (sans Steven Schultz who took a medical redshirt in 2010) and finding out how time in the 'Catdome has impacted their lives.  What's below are their own thoughts about being a Wildcat.  The only question I asked them is what they would say to themselves as high school seniors.  It's a great look into the minds of of what makes this program tick....the players.  Thank you to these five Wildcats for continuing to share their journey in the 'Catdome and we'll be looking forward to it one more time in 2014. Go 'Cats!

#5 Dominique Forrest, Linebacker, Portland, Or. (Jesuit High)

I remember my first day on Linfield’s campus as if it were yesterday. It’s crazy how time flies. I‘ve got to say that the time I’ve spent with this team are times I have truly cherished. To reflect on the past years has been tough though, I keep thinking about the next season, my last one here at Linfield.

The past three seasons have given us sort of a “thick skin”. The very first Linfield game that I was a part of was a loss down vs. Cal Lutheran, and ever since then, every loss we’ve had has ended our season early. The loss to Oshkosh was tough, but I think it fueled our fire even more for the guys in my class. We’ve been able to win games in conference and make it to playoffs and we built off that this past year, but still haven’t been able to finish the way we want. On the bright side, we have another crack at it. What the loss really tells us is that we have to work that much harder this time around, stay consistent for that much longer, and come even closer as a family and a program. It is definitely easier to say than to do, but we have to be willing to do it to get to where we want to.

We have this big group of to-be seniors coming back and being upperclassmen we have the opportunity to set the tone for the work we need to put in. Luckily, we have upperclassmen on both sides of the ball. It allows us to have those leaders spread out within the different position groups. It’s something to take pride in and I believe we can raise the bar even higher. Something that stands out about being an upperclassman is seeing the big picture. When I came into this program I just wanted to follow what the older guys did and follow the example they put forth. Now, being in that “older guys” shoes, I, as well as the guys in my class, want to be an example to a guy who is coming into this program or growing up in this program.

Linfield is a right place for me because it has challenged me day in and day out. I would tell my high school self that exact thing. Maybe back then, I somewhat enjoyed when things were easy and I settled for being good or just okay. I’ve learned when you have to work for things and have to put in extra effort to make things happen, things fall in your favor. This program also talks a lot about family. I would also tell my high school self the importance to do what you can for the people who are working hard around you. On the field, I have ten guys around me who are working hard to make my job and assignments that much easier. It makes it even more important for me to hold up my part for those guys. Off the field, I have teammates and coaches doing what they can to make this program better, all I have to do is work hard and improve in the areas I can to help this team. When we are working hard together, it’s tough to break us down.

-Dominique Forrest

#49 Kel Poomaihealani, Def End, Kahalu'u, Hawaii (St. Louis)

Before I begin, I just want to take the time to thank the Catdome family for all the support and love we got from you this past season. From a player’s standpoint, it means a lot to have such a supporting and loving family through thick and thin.

This past season was a fun one. It was a big stepping stone for us; we had many things to prove, both on and off the field. I couldn’t be prouder of my fellow brothers in the blood, sweat, and tears in what we put into this game we play. The junior class as a whole had to step up in many ways, mainly to fill the void of the departure of leaders that has graduated and left from the previous years (Fish, Kalae, Nish, Hedin, Bubs, etc.). It was time for us to take the initiative and be the leaders of the team.

It was a weird transition from being the second year players to team leaders. We have been blessed to have the past leaders do what they do and pave the way for us and show us how to play and lead the team to success. It definitely is bitter realizing that I just finished my third season playing for Linfield and that I have one more year remaining. Time really does fly.

Towards the end of this past season I would remind myself that time is running out for me and that I would only have a certain amount of opportunities to leave my mark in this system. I began to embrace every moment because I won’t have the opportunity to compete and go to war with my brothers every Saturday, as quoted from Coach Vaughan. I am blessed to be a part of a wealthy tradition and given the opportunity to play with that name across my chest.

If there is one thing I could tell myself about Linfield 4 years ago when deciding what college to attend, it would be the bonds I made with my teammates. This is a bond you can’t find anywhere else. In my opinion, football is the closest sport to war. Definitely much less violent though. You train and prepare yourself for that one day and you take on that one day with your brothers by your side. The bond I made with my teammates is something I wouldn’t trade for anything. If I knew this was promised to me when I was in high school, I would have no question in coming to Linfield. Linfield is definitely the place for me and I am glad I made the decision to come here, it was meant to be. I can’t wait to get the off season rolling and play again this coming fall! Catdome.

Bang bang,
Kel Poomaihealani 49

#24 Tyler Robitaille, Linebacker, San Jose, Cali (Bellarmine Prep)

Year three has come and gone, still can't believe that I will be entering into my senior season at Linfield. I also thought that when people told me, "Enjoy college because it goes by fast" that they were exaggerating a bit. Now I want to go back and tell myself to not take for granted a single day.

Looking back at my three years in the Catdome much has changed; positions, physical appearance, coaches, even practices. But one thing has always stood out to me and that is the type of guys that play football in this program. I can still remember meetings with Ness and Comfy. I recall being scared to go in on scout team freshman year because Bubba might rip your head off if you don’t echo the call, or Hedin and Nish balling out in making this game look so easy. The reason I remember those guys is because they took their senior season and embraced what it meant to play for Linfield. They didn’t just play for themselves; they brought up us young guys because they knew we were the next Wildcats in line.

The entire junior class and I have been blessed with the guys who played in front of us. So many leaders on the previous teams; Fisher, Krieger, Kal'ae, Nish, Bubbs, etc the list can go on and on. It was those guys who made me want to play better, those guys who helped me become the player I am today. I want to thank them for everything they have shown and taught me whether they knew it or not. Little things they did like invite the young bucks over for hot seat or sit next to us in film to help us out, or even just coming to Dillin with us to help us build better relationships. Whatever they did, they did it not just for themselves, but for the team.

As I approach my senior season in the Catdome I want to leave a mark on the young guys, just like the guys that left a mark on me. That's how Linfield has the national record for consecutive winning seasons. Yes the coaches have a great deal to do with it, but if it wasn't for the type of players and leaders we have year-in and year-out from this team, we would not be nearly as successful. My fellow classmates and I are part of a special class. The biggest class ever brought into Linfield. It’s loaded with talent and leaders, but best of all, personality. We all get along so well, always having each other’s back and playing like a tight knit group. We have a tremendous opportunity to do something at Linfield that hasn't been done in almost 10 years. But it doesn't come from us, it comes from how well we can show the younger guys on this team what it takes and more importantly what it means to play Linfield Football.

Looking back at my high school self, I wish I had known about Linfield sooner, because I think that I could have gotten some quality guys from my area. Having said that, I am extremely grateful that Linfield found me (thanks Haze), and I have the opportunity to play here. To this very day there is no doubt in my mind that Linfield is the place to be for me. I want to tell all of the recruits that come here that if you are looking for a place to play football, but also make lifelong friends and relationships with the best guys out there, you need to be a Wildcat. I have had a great three years at Linfield and can’t wait to see what my senior season has to offer our team. We’re hungry for that championship and I know the team is ready to work. Catdome!!

-Tyler Robitaille

#84 Jacob Priester, Tight End, Patterson, Cali. (Patterson High)

Undoubtedly, over the last three years Linfield football has been, just as Coach Smith guaranteed, the most influential class I have taken at Linfield College. Many lessons have been learned, most notably punctuality, determination, work ethic and, most importantly at this junction in my life, taking care of my body. I found over my career at Linfield that my ability to play is based on how careful I am with my body. Which leads me to the topic of this post, in that if I were able to talk to my freshman self right now I would tell myself two important ideals to live by in the Linfield football family: first, take care of your body (i.e. stretch every day, take ice baths frequently, and do NOT stop working out during the season) and second, it goes faster than you think. Before I know it, my senior season will be upon me and at times I still feel like I’m in my sophomore year of school. However, now it is my time to truly step up as a leader on this team and help lead us to our ultimate goal, a national title.

Like I have mentioned several times, the most important lesson I have learned and the largest mistake I have made involves not taking care of my body properly over the last two years. As a consequence, I am standing at an unfamiliar crossroads in my football career, within two weeks I will be undergoing shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. This injury has plagued me for the last two seasons and increased in severity over the last few months. Until this injury, I lived a seemingly injury free football career, and now that such a severe injury has arrived at my doorstep, I will rely on the Linfield football pillar of Attitude in order to smile in the face of this extreme adversity. I aim to make Attitude my personal pillar over the next several months including my surgery, rehabilitation and preparation for my upcoming senior season. The pain and rehabilitation that I will have to go through for this football season will light a fire within me that will hopefully allow me to perform with a tenacity and ferocity that will make me the dominant player that I aspire to be.

In general, the last few years as a part of the Linfield football family have provided me with the most important life lessons I have ever learned. The most valuable part about this is that these lessons will transcend football and allow me to have a successful career out in the “real world” and help me to deal with the trials and tribulations that await me outside of college. And in the end, this family has given me the best friends I have ever had, and that is more important to me than anything. Everyone who is reading this should know that I have no regrets coming to Linfield and that this has been the most gratifying experience of my life thus far. However, I am not, and my team is not, satisfied with how the last three years have ended. It’s time for my class to create our own legacy.

-Jacob Priester

#78 Steven Schultz, Offensive Tackle, Tacoma, Wa. (Wilson)

Wow three years of college done already. It has been a crazy ride for us so far and it definitely took some time getting over how this season ended. Despite that, it has been so much fun this year. I had a whole new perspective coming into this season. I was starting my junior year here while this was only my second football season. Getting a whole year of playing under my belt helped so much. I was more confident and could focus more on my playing than my playbook. It allowed me to improve on my technique. If someone would have told me back in high school where I would be in three years I would have never believed them. To be a part of something so special has really helped shape me into the man I am becoming.

A lot has changed since I came to Linfield. I was pretty disappointed not being able to play my freshmen year due to injuring my foot. Looking back on it now I think it was a blessing in disguise. I came to every practice and watched every game that year and I really fell in love with this program. This is much more than a team, this is a family. After I was fully recovered, I started training again. I couldn't stop thinking about what was in store for my first year playing. I realized that I would have the opportunity to play so I worked as hard as I could and ended up having a decent year.

This past year I was motivated to be the best I could be. I focused a lot more on my technique and received help from alumni and mentor, Aaron Heston. All off-season I couldn’t stop thinking about winning a national championship. Although we fell short, I still feel very grateful to be a part of this team.

A lot has changed now that I am an upperclassman, and I have realized a lot more. I still remember the seniors my first year of playing, and how they would always keep me motivated. They helped whenever they could and really took me under their wing. Being an upperclassman, I want to give these young guys the same support that I was given when I first started out. I want them to be able to come to me whenever they have a question or need help whether that is on or off the field.

I chose Linfield over all the other schools I was looking at. I did not know what this school was really going to be like. I guess it was faith that brought me here. My high school coach Cameron Rogers had some great things to say about Linfield and thought that I would fit in well down here. My dad and I visited the campus and liked it a lot. The coaches were all great and broke everything down for me. All of these things played a role in me coming here, but ultimately it was something else. It was a feeling. A feeling like this was where I was meant to be. A feeling that I could be a part of something special. If I could go back to my high school self and say why Linfield is the place I should be I would say because that feeling was right. Linfield is everything I thought it could be when I decided to come here. We have over one hundred brothers, have one of the best coaching staffs in the country who sacrifice so much for us, and have a real shot at winning a national championship each year.

The most important thing I would tell myself, however, is that Linfield football prepares you for adversity beyond college. What you learn in your four years here will ultimately help you overcome any adverse situation you might be faced with for the rest of your life. As for next season, I am really excited to see what we can do. We have a lot of talent returning and this is going to be a special group of guys. Until then, however, we will do what we do best, which is work hard, because hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard enough.

-Steven Schultz

Thursday, January 3, 2013

13 Years of Northwest Confernece Dominance

On December 31st 2009, we review the first full decade of the realignment of the Northwest Conference (The NWC regrouped in 1996 as the Northwest Conference of Independent Colleges (NCIC) and then officially named back to the Northwest Conference in 1998). At the beginning of 2012 we took a look at the data to see how that's changed over the two season period.

I decided to once again plug in the this past year's results and add Pacific's three seasons worth of statistics into the mix.   What you see is what you get and that's Linfield continuing to dominate what's considered on of the premiere conferences in Division III.

120 victories since the 2000 season.  Linfield has only lost 5 Northwest conference games over a 13 year span.  The closest team over this period is Whitworth and for their success they've still taken 26 losses in NWC play.  That's remarkable.

There are others stats that leap out at you in terms of where Linfield has made their mark.  16 playoff victories (next closest is PLU with 3), 10 NWC titles (nearest team is Whitworth with 3), 154 1st team honors (Willamette is next with 81), Linfield's won 88.3% of their home games (Whitworth is next at 66.7%), and the 'Cats are the only team that are in the triple digit column with total wins (120).

The data is staggering to me when you considered that the Northwest Conference is a darn good conference.  PLU, Whitworth, Willamette are all strong programs with Pacific maturing at a good pace.  There's no secret why this has happened. It's been consistence that's the program reaches on a yearly basis on the back of hard work.  No shortcuts, no gimmicks.  Linfield will continue to be the team to beat year after year because of the commitment of this staff, players, administration, and support community that do things the right way....the Linfield way. 

Decade Records (2000-12) (I've excluded Pacific from record and honors data as they've only reinstated the program since 2010.)

Overall Record (Winning Percentage)
Linfield.............120-20  (85.7%)
Whitworth.........82-44   (65%)
PLU.................75-47    (61.5%)
Willamette........76-54    (58.5%)
L&C................31-81     (27.7%)
UPS................31-87    (26.3%)

NWC Record
Linfield............66-5     (93%)
Whitworth.......45-26   (63.4%)
PLU................44-27   (62%) 
Willamette.......43-28  (60.6%)
L&C...............12-54   (18.2%)
UPS..............11-60   (15.5%)

Home Record
Linfield............68-9   (88.3%)
Whitworth......42-21  (66.7%)
Willamette......42-25  (62.7%)
PLU................34-24  (58.6%)
L&C................18-38  (32.1%)
UPS................17-43  (28.3%)

Road Record
Linfield..........52-11  (82.5%)
Whitworth.......40-23  (63.5%)
PLU...............41-23  (64.1%)
Willamette.....34-29  (54%)
UPS..............14-44  (24.1%)
L&C...............13-43  (23.2%)

Playoff Record

NWC 1st Place Finishes
Linfield............10 (1 -tie)
Whitworth.......3 (1 -tie)
PLU..............1 (1-tie)

Conference Honors (2000-12)

Coach Of The Year

Offense Player of the Year
Lewis & Clark...1

Defensive Player of the Year
PLU............ 2

NWC 1st Team Players

Team Statistics (Averages) (2000-12)

(I excluded the 2005 stats from L&C since they only played 4 non-conference games and canceled their NWC games.  Their total numbers were divided against 12 season (rest of the teams total numbers are divided against the 13 previous seasons.  Also, I've now included Pacific's first 3 seasons (2010-12) into the avg totals.  Comparing 13 seasons worth of data against 3 may not be very fair but they had to join the party at some point.)

Points Per Game
Linfield..........38.3 PPG
PLU...............30.0 PPG
Willamette......30.0 PPG
Whitworth......28.3 PPG
Pacific...........21.8 PPG
UPS...............21.3 PPG
L&C...............20.9 PPG

Points Allowed Per Game
Linfield..........17.5 PPG
Whitworth....21.9 PPG
PLU...............22.9 PPG
Willamette....23.3 PPG
UPS...............34.2 PPG
L&C...............39.7 PPG
Pacific..............39.8 PPG

Pass Offense Per Game
Linfield.........278.5 YPG
Pacific........... 267.0 YPG
PLU..............243.5 YPG
L&C..............209.6 YPG
Whitworth.....206.2 YPG
UPS..............167.9 YPG
Willamette....139.3 YPG

Pass Defense Per Game
Linfield........192.8 YPG
PLU..............194.6 YPG
Whitworth.....196.1 YPG
Willamette....209.8 YPG
L&C..............214.8 YPG
UPS..............225.2 YPG
Pacific..........261.2 YPG

Rushing Offense Per Game
Willamette....247.1 YPG
Whitworth....165.5 YPG
UPS.............164.6 YPG
Linfield........158.1 YPG
PLU.............143.8 YPG
L&C.............131.0 YPG
Pacific............64.7 YPG

Rushing Defense Per Game
Linfield........110.3 YPG
Willamette....129.1 YPG
PLU.............150.4 YPG
Whitworth....151.1 YPG
Pacific.........175.0  YPG
UPS.............180.5 YPG
L&C.............225.0 YPG

Total Offense Per Game
Linfield........436.6 YPG
PLU.............387.3 YPG
Whitworth..371.7 YPG
L&C.............340.5 YPG 
UPS.............332.6 YPG
Pacific.........331.7 YPG

Total Defense Per Game
Linfield........303.1 YPG
PLU.............344.9 YPG
Willamette....345.0 YPG
Whitworth....347.3 YPG
UPS.............406.0 YPG
Pacific........436.1 YPG
L&C.............439.8 YPG

Avg. Sacks Per Season

Avg. Turnover Margin Per Season
Pacific......... -5.7